Lee Patton


After growing up in an immigrant/lumbering/fishing town on California's Mendocino Coast, and after college in Sacramento and San Francisco, I headed to Colorado to teach high school and work on my M.A. in Denver University’s Writing Program.

In the late 80’s, I wrote plays for Denver’s legendary Changing Scene. That led me to develop plays produced in Arizona, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Alaska, then off-off Broadway in New York. A scholarship sent me to London to study theatre, where a jealous-love murder threat in our dorm inspired the fictionalized events of my first novel, Nothing Gold Can Stay (Alyson Books, 2000, published as Casey Nelson to avoid embarrassing my fellow students and teachers).

In the second novel, Love and Genetic Weaponry: The Beginner's Guide (Alyson Books, 2009), I explored a completely fictitious Hitchcockian-paranoid-romance set among very real Western landscapes. The idea of the amateur sleuth fascinated me, especially my protagonist, Ray O’Brien, a young teacher forced into the role of accidental detective. He must solve the mystery and defuse danger using only his everyday wits and evolving insights into human nature.

Like my character, I have found myself in the midst of a role I never predicted—accidental mystery writer. But I’m at work on the third novel in the series, Fresh Grave in Grand Canyon, which gives me a chance to explore more of what I love—whitewater rafting and the canyon’s surreal geology—and develop another romance interrupted, of course, by murder.


This member has not published any books.